Winter view at Killarney

Winter adventure in Killarney Provincial Park

Killarney Provincial Park is 645 km2 of beautiful, unspoiled nature. Add in some killer trails and comfy accommodations and you’ve got a total winter hotspot. It’s no wonder winter explorers flock to the park when the cold hits.

So what are you waiting for? Here’s everything you need to know to plan your own Killarney winter adventure this winter.

There’s lots to do!

Man skiing past granite

In the winter, Killarney transforms into a cross-country skiing paradise.

The park’s campground becomes a great trail network. The roads remain unplowed, and ski trails are groomed and set.

There are three trail loops from 8 km to 14 km for a total of 35 km of ski opportunities. Make sure you check conditions on the Ski Report before heading out!

The park’s hiking trails take on a whole new character as snowshoe trails in the winter. Take this opportunity to visit a part of the park you’d never see in the summer!

Astronomy is also a must-do winter activity. The observatory is open all winter to take in the night’s myriad of stars. The pristine skies are sure to leave you awestruck.

Woman taking winter photo

Don’t forget about winter photography! From landscapes to wildlife, the beauty of Killarney is always stunning on film. Make sure you pack a spare battery because of the cold. Keep your camera in a pack, and bring it inside to warm up when possible.

Planning a day trip? Make sure you grab a daily vehicle pass on your way in. Or get a winter season pass!

Attend an event

Man in snowshoes takes in winter beauty

Interested in spotting some wildlife? The Killarney Christmas Bird Count is coming up on December 20, 2017. Both experienced and new birders are welcome!

The Friends of Killarney are holding a Winter Weekend from February 17 to 18, 2018. Enjoy skiing, guided snowshoe hikes, presentations, and astronomy programs!

Staying the night?

Winter campers set up

Whether you prefer sleeping under the stars or with a roof over your head, Killarney has options.

The campground is the perfect place to try out winter camping. Channel your inner survivalist by pitching a tent. If you’re new to winter camping park staff is happy to help you plan your trip.

For more advanced winter campers, Killarney is also popular for backcountry winter camping.

For those not ready to tent it in the snowy season, there are six yurts and two cabins open all winter.

Yurt at Killarney

All of the roofed accommodations are heated with a propane fireplace to keep you warm and toasty. Mattresses and electricity provide some extra comfort during your stay. There is no running water, but two heated washrooms are nearby.

Killarney’s roofed accommodations are very popular, so make sure you book early! Try to visit midweek if possible.

Some things to keep in mind…

Granite Ridge trail in winter

Colder temperatures and heavy snow make winter trips extra challenging.

Safety is key for winter camping. Make sure you prepare and plan for your trip. Have the proper gear on hand, and pack enough clothing, food, and water. Get to the park early to set up your site before dark.

Keep in mind that long trails can be difficult in the winter. If you’re going to tackle a trail like the Crack, make sure you have proper clothing, enough water, flashlights, and headlamps packed for your trip. Watch for icy conditions on the trails.

When getting dressed for your winter excursion, make sure you layer up. Stay away from cotton and make sure your head and neck are properly covered.

Please note that in the winter no vehicles are permitted past the Park Office. Winter campers must ski or snowshoe to their site. The park will provide you with toboggans to tow your gear and supplies. There are no snowmobiles permitted in the campground.

Last but not least, be safe and have fun!